Author(s): Geoff Colvin
What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Few, if any, of the people around you are truly great at what they do. But why aren't they? Why don't they manage businesses like Jack Welch or Andy Grove, play golf like Tiger Woods or play the violin like Itzhak Perlman? Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most of us offer one of two answers: hard work or a natural talent. However, scientific evidence doesn't support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers. Expanding on one of the most popular Fortune articles in years, with much more scientific research and real-life examples, Geoff Colvin offered new evidence that top performers in any field - from Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett and Jack Welch - are not determined by their inborn talents. Greatness doesn't come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades. This 'deliberate practice' isn't the kind of hard work that your parents told you about. It's difficult. It hurts. But more of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance.This new mindset, combined with Colvin's practical advice, will change the way you think about your life and work - and will inspire you to achieve more in everything you do.
Most profoundly, Colvin shows that great performance isn't reserved for a preordained few.
A"A fascinating study of great achievers from Mozart to Tiger Woods, and he has brilliantly highlighted the fact that great effort equals great success. Talent Is Overrated is not only inspiring but enlightening. It's a terrific read all the way through.A"Donald TrumpA"A profoundly important book. With clarity and precision, Geoff Colvin exposes one of the fundamental misconceptions of modern life - that our ability to excel depends on innate qualities. This is a rare business book that will prompt you to think and inspire you to act.A"Daniel H Pink, author of A Whole New MindA"What an exciting book! Talent Is Overrated explains where tomorrow's business champions will really come from. Read it-it is truly research based. It's a real breakthrough.A"Ram Charan, coauthor of ExecutionA"I rejoice! In this amply researched, adroitly reasoned, and lucently written book, Geoff Colvin democratizes the potentiality to be a success-in any field. Even if you didn't talk to the baby nurses the moment you were born, write a sonata before you were two, or create a global lemonade-stand business in grammar school, you have the potential to be a great orator, a master composer, or a Jack Welch. If you have the urge, go for it! Geoff tells you how to get there, and what he says comports totally with my own experiences in sports, law, and business.A"Herb Kelleher, cofounder and chairman, Southwest AirlinesA"Geoff Colvin takes us on a tour de force to understanding exceptional performance; using the arts, science, and business, his book shows us how some humans are Olympian in their achievements. The book is packed with useful insights and ultimately a 'mirror test,' two profound questions for readers pondering their own potential for exceptional performance: What do you want? And what do you believe? This book opens you to deep self-reflection.A"Noel Tichy, coauthor (with Warren Bennis) of Judgment; professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Geoff Colvin, Fortune's senior editor-at-large, is one of America's most respected journalists. He lectures widely and is the regular lead moderator for the Fortune Global forum. A frequent television guest, Colvin appears dailty on the CBS Radio Network, reading seven million listeners every week. He co-anchored Wall Street Week on PBS for three years.